Pub gets ready to become heart of village again following £50,000 revamp

John Carrick, Owner of Swanton Morley Darby's, which is set to reopen with renovation

John Carrick, Owner of Swanton Morley Darby's, which is set to reopen with renovation - Credit: Archant

The finishing touches to a once-popular village pub are eagerly underway ahead of its reopening after undergoing a major refurbishment.

Darby's in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, closed earlier this year but was taken on again by the man who first brought its vision to life three decades ago.

John Carrick, of Carrick and Son, has owned the building since 1946 when it was originally made up of two farm cottages.

During the eighties he oversaw the project to transform it into a pub to help fulfil a need in the village.

Following its original opening in 1988, Mr Carrick ran the pub with a manager for 20 years before leasing it out. But after the previous tenant ceased trading, he decided to take on the challenge of running it once again with a new management team by his side.


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Mr Carrick has spent 'in excess of £50,000' on the revamp and hours of labour in the hope of further encouraging a sense of community within the village.

'We are looking forward to welcoming new and old customers and have been ploughing on with the renovations,' he said.

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'It's been a lot of hard work but finally we are ready to open.'

He added that his aim would be to make Darby's a community pub where 'everyone can feel they can take ownership'.

The building has had a complete refurbishment which includes improved facilities, the creation of more inside space and better disabled access. There is also a function space - Hudson Room - and the beer garden and children's play area has been freshened up and updated to make the pub more family and dog friendly.

The reopening has created new jobs including bar, kitchen, waiting staff and a head chef.

The aim now is to continue to produce new menus while using and promoting local produce in and around Swanton Morley.

Darby's reopens from 6pm on Saturday December 15.

For more information please call 01362 638302.

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